SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College squash team opened action at the 2017 Pioneer Valley Invitational on Saturday at the Kendall Courts. The Lyons saw several strong performances, but ultimately fell 6-3 to both Colby College and Wesleyan University. With the losses, #29 MHC falls to 2-13 on the season, while the #25 Mules are now 5-9 with the #23 Cardinals moving to 7-5 overall.
In the morning's opening match between the Mules and the Lyons, Colby jumped out to a 2-1 lead behind wins in the sixth and third flights. First year Julianna Song (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich Academy) bested MHC senior captain Allison Shilling (New Canaan, Conn./Choate Rosemary Hall) at three by an 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 margin, while at six, Colby sophomore Lily Wain (Milton, Mass./Dexter Southfield) posted an 11-1, 11-2, 11-9 victory against junior Emily Chang (Carmichael, Calif./Mira Loma).
The Lyons grabbed their first victory at nine as junior Kirina Gair-MacMichael (West Hartford, Conn./Ethel Walker School) defeated Colby's Sabrina Rabins (Weston, Mass./Noble and Greenough), 11-9, 11-4, 11-9.
At five, senior Caroline Pelham (Coconut Grove, Fla./Ranson Everglades School) bested Lyons' sophomore Tanishka Sachidanand (Karnataka, India/Canadian International School), 11-1, 11-0, 11-7, while from four, Colby's Cricket di Galoma (Muttontown, N.Y./Westminster School) made it a 4-1 advantage with an 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 victory against MHC sophomore Lessly Portillo (New Haven, Conn./Hill Regional Career Magnet).
Mount Holyoke once again bounced back as sophomore Ragini Ghose (Dubai/Millfield School) powered through for a tough 3-2 win against sophomore Olivia Silverman (New Canaan, Conn./Berkshire School) at two. Holding a 1-0 lead, Ghose found herself quickly down 2-1. She rebounded with an 11-8 win in the fourth and sealed the victory in five. The full line score was 11-5, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6.
Lyons' senior captain Amanda Lee (Windsor, Conn./Ethel Walker School) closed the gap to 3-4 for MHC as she defeated first year Anna Gildea (Weston, Mass./Newton Country Day) at eight by an 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 margin, but the Mules would turn it around and seal up the match in the final two draws.
At the top of the ladder, junior Devin Mullaney (Boston, Mass./Dana Hall School) posted a 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 win against Lyons junior Brandy Williamson (New York, N.Y./Thurgood Marshall Academy), followed by the final match at seven between MHC graduate student Rose Minichiello (Collinsville, Conn./Canton) and Colby junior Elise O'Brien (Cos Cob, Conn./Brooks School), which saw O'Brien post an 11-7, 14-12, 11-3 victory.
In the second match against the Cardinals, Lyons' captain Shilling was able to best Wesleyan senior captain Annie Ferreira (West Hartford, Conn/Loomis Chaffee School) by a 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 margin. The Cardinals evened the match at six as sophomore Sarah Clothier (Bryn Mawr, Pa./The Shipley School) defeated Chang, 3-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4.
Wesleyan grabbed the 2-1 advantage from the ninth position as first year Sherly Francois (Chicago, Ill./Loomis Chaffee School (Conn.) defeated Gair-MacMichael, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4. At five, first year Josie Russ (Houston, Texas/Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) made it a 3-1 Wesleyan lead as she earned an 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 victory against Sachidanand, but MHC bounced back as Ghose won a hard-fought 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8 win against senior captain Abigail Smith (London, England/St. Andrew's (Del.).
Sophomore Ale Lampietti (New York, N.Y./Friends Seminary) got the best of MHC's Lee from the eighth position, recording an 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 win, but the Lyons countered as Portillo defeated sophomore Ali Imperiale (San Anselmo, Calif./Bay School of San Francisco) at four, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8.
From the top of the ladder, junior Laila Samy (Cairo, Egypt/Westminster (Conn.) bested Williamson, 11-5, 11-6, 12-10, while in the final match of the contest, Wesleyan's Tatum Leclair (Mattapoisett, Mass./Tabor Academy) and the Lyons' Minichiello squared off.
Minichiello opened with 11-9 and 11-3 wins to grab a 2-0 advantage, but Leclair battled back with an 11-6 and 12-10 win to force a fifth game. It was Leclair who had the edge, holding on for the 11-7. The final line score was 9-11, 3-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7.
Mount Holyoke returns to action next Saturday when it travels to Haverford (1:30pm) and Dickinson (6:30pm). Colby and Wesleyan will meet this afternoon at the Kendall Courts (4pm).